EUGENE – Wrapping up its first week of practice, the University of Oregon volleyball team will give its fans a special preview of one of its most talented teams ever Saturday night in an inter-squad exhibition.
The free event starts at 7 p.m., and features the 15-person Oregon roster split into two squads playing a best-of-five-set format.
Fans will also have free access Saturday evening to park in the Columbia Street garage at Matthew Knight Arena.
During the match, fans will also have a special opportunity to ask questions of eighth-year head coach Jim Moore who enjoys the opportunity to connect with loyal Duck supporters.
The dean of active UO coaches has gratefully lauded the importance of the Oregon home crowd in the team’s recent success. Last October, a school record crowd of 6,210 came to the match vs. then-No. 4 California, and 14 of the 20 biggest crowds in school history have come in his tenure.
Excitement for this year’s team is high after Oregon was tabbed fourth in the Pac-12 Preseason Coaches Poll this week, and tied its best-ever positions also received in 1988 and ’91.
This season’s roster is perhaps its deepest ever, and features a pair of returning All-Pac-12 picks in All-American and senior outside hitter Alaina Bergsma and junior setter Lauren Plum.
UO also returns a host of other starters in All-Pac-12 Freshman Team choice and outside hitter Liz Brenner, All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention and junior middle blocker Ariana Williams, senior outside hitter Katherine Fischer, senior libero Haley Jacob and senior defensive specialist Kellie Kawasaki.
Thanks to their hard work, Oregon reeled off another record-breaking year in 2011 and made its fifth post-season trip the last six years, en route to a 21-10 overall record.
The Ducks capped last regular season ranked No. 13 nationally – their highest polling of the campaign – and one of 73, top-25 rankings since 2007. Oregon beat four top-five teams (and another top-seven squad) during the slate, including its first wins vs. top-ranked opponents (Penn State and UCLA).
Moore is equally excited about the addition of one of the top recruiting classes in his 24-year collegiate coaching career.
The Ducks welcome a five-person freshman group composed of Italian product and middle blocker Clelia DeFelice, prep All-America outside hitter Martenne Bettendorf, Senior Ace middle blocker Canace Finley, Senior Ace 150 outside hitter Madison Magee and All-CIF libero Tatum Norton.
Oregon also adds one transfer in senior outside hitter Bethany (Wray) Bair – a two-time All-Big Sky honorable mention for Weber State in 2010 and ’11.
Next week, Duck fans will get another opportunity to cheer the Ducks in their exhibition against many of their greatest alumni. That match, set for Saturday, August 18, will also start at 7 p.m. and offers free admission.
In September, the Ducks open their 12-match home schedule with a pair of non-conference tilts vs. UC Santa Barbara (Wed., September 5) and St. Mary’s (Mon., Sept. 10). Both teams sported top-55 RPI national ratings and impressive records last year – UC Santa Barbara (#53, 19-12) and St. Mary’s (#55, 17-12).
The remainder of UO’s home schedule – all league contests – includes last year’s national champion (UCLA), two more NCAA second-round qualifiers (Stanford, Washington), and two other postseason first-round advancers (Arizona, California).
Duck fans can renew their season tickets through Friday, August 10, while new season tickets and individual games will go on sale, Friday, August 17.
Fans are encouraged to use the www.GoDucks.com website for all purchases, and can also visit the Duck ticket office or call (1-800-WEB-FOOT) during normal weekday business hours.
Prices for the season and single-game tickets are similar to last year and follow:
SEASON TICKETS // SINGLE MATCH
Reserved – $100 // $10
Adult GA – $60 // $6
*Child & Senior GA – $26 // $5
Group (10 or more and arranged in advance) – Single Game = $3
* = children ages 2-17, and seniors 62 and older.
Families can also save money on season tickets by purchasing a general admission family plan. The package is available for $50 per adult ticket and $25 per child ticket (and two tickets or more of each age category must be purchased for this rate).
Source: University of Oregon Athletics – www.GoDucks.com -